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High School Happenings: Winning Streaks End; Top Wrestlers Battle

By BV, 12/23/13, 7:00PM EST



The holidays are approaching, but there was no vacation for many of the top wrestlers in New York this weekend.  Here are five thoughts on some of the action around the state.


1. NY's Longest Dual Streak Comes to An End . . .

The Wantagh Warriors extended their winning streak to 44 consecutive dual meet victories at the David Bloom Memorial Duals this weekend at home.  The Warriors also nabbed a 31-25 lead over East Islip after 11 bouts at the event. 

However, the Redmen took control from there, winning the last four contests, beginning with returning state placer Jesse Dellevecchia's technical fall at 120.  Sal Cipolla followed with a decision and then Nick Barber put the meet out of reach with a pin at 132 pounds.  Alexander Deveglio completed the strong finish for East Islip with a victory at 138, giving the Suffolk squad the 42-31 triumph and ending Wantagh's fantastic streak.  (A big victory earlier in the dual was by NYS-ranked Dennis Ferro, who majored returning Nassau third placer Nick Vines at 160 pounds).

On the day, East Islip went 4-0, with the other wins over Hewlett, New Rochelle and Cumberland (Rhode Island).

One more note from the David Bloom Memorial Duals: a week after pinning an All-State wrestler, Sachem North's Sean O'Hagan kept the momentum going with a 5-1 win over returning state qualifier Owen Bachelder of Hewlett at 132.


2. Speaking of Streaks Ending . . .

For the first time in 15 years, Saranac topped Peru in dual action, with the Chiefs notching a 45-26 victory.  Peru began strong, taking a 7-0 lead, including a 14-2 major decision by Jordan Bushey over state qualifier James Black at 170 pounds.  However, Saranac roared back, winning five in a row, including pins by Colby Staley at 195, Jacob Nolan at 99 and Johnny Devins at 106 to grab a 27-7 advantage.

Peru cut the lead to 27-20 with three consecutive wins, but Saranac answered again, capturing four of the final five bouts, beginning with falls by Raffeal Rivera at 132 and Sean Ahern at 138 to get the long-awaited triumph.


3. Ranked Wrestlers Square Off . . .

At the Carlucci Duals in Section 1, two of the 220 pounders in our initial state rankings squared off on Friday night.  John Hartnett of Tappan Zee and Rob Kelly of Monroe Woodbury were tied at 1 late in the third, when Kelly nabbed a late takedown and followed by turning Hartnett and earning the fall.  Kelly and Monroe Woodbury captured the event with an undefeated showing, including a 63-13 win over Fox Lane in the championship round.

And how about at the Jim Wilson Duals at Minisink Valley, where returning state runner up Nick Gallo of Schalmont and Plainedge's Robert Ng (who made the Round of 8 in Albany last year) competed at 182. Gallo came away with a decision and may stay up at that weight for the postseason. 

At the same tournament, there was a battle of Section 9 champs who look ready to make an impact at the state level, Dylan Booth of Port Jervis and Gerard Daly of the host team. In an exciting bout at 120, Booth, a 2013 NYS placer, came out on top 4-2.

Minisink Valley won the event with Mike Raccioppi taking MOW honors and Dan DeCarlo of Port Jervis earning the aggregate pins award.

Tristan Rifanburg of Norwich and Curtis Grant of Elmira both made the podium at the Times Union Center a year ago and the two did battle over the weekend at the Owego Invitational Duals.  According to NYWN's Zakk Rolfe, Grant got out to a three-point lead after the first period, however, Rifanburg responded in an exciting bout that ended in an 8-6 win for the Norwich wrestler.  Newark Valley went 8-0 at the event.

A few more matches that caught our eye: In Locust Valley's 38-33 victory over MacArthur at the Coach Luksik Classic Duals at Deer Park, LV's All-Stater Sam Ward registered a 5-1 win over former NYS runner up Justin Cooksey at 145 pounds.

In addition, Islip's Craig Hinrichs continued to impress early on in Suffolk.  After a big pin against William Floyd last weekend (discussed here), he took down NHSCA All-American and Super 32 placer Vincent Feola of Walt Whitman in overtime.

And at the Southern Tier Officials Wrestling Association Invitational in Frewsburg, Tito Colom of Dunkirk edged 2013 state bronze medalist Ryan Hetrick of Southwestern (3-2) in the 113 pound final. Other former NYS placers to win the event were Brad Bihler of Maple Grove at 120, Drew Marra of Olean at 126 and Alex Smythe of Eden at 170. Falconer was the team champ.

For more on that event, see here.


4. Some League Championship Events Are Already Here . . .

Hilton continued to show it is a team to watch by capturing the Monroe County League Championships by a commanding margin (215-164) over host Webster Schroeder, with Fairport taking third.

Hilton featured four champions, including Most Outstanding Wrestlers Yianni Diakomihalis (lightweights, 113) and Vincent DePrez (upperweights, 152) in addition to Lou DePrez (138) and Anthony DePrez (160).  Also making the finals for the squad were Hobie Strassner (145), Mike Spallina (170) and Harald Juergens (182).

Webster Schroeder's second place finish was driven by balance as the team didn't have an individual champion, but did boast a pair of silver medalists (Alex Salvaggio at 138 and Joe Lupisella at 160) as well as seven others who battled for bronze (four took third).

Returning All-State grappler Ian James of Greece captured gold at 285, while fellow NYS placer Sam Eagan of Churchville-Chili took the mat in the 220 pound finals and was upset by Pittsford's Tyler Schaefer on an overtime pin.  Schaefer, who had falls in three of his four bouts, defeated Eagan last season as well.

Returning state qualifiers Frankie Gissendanner (Penfield, 132) and Spencerport teammates Collin Pittman (182) and Trent Egenlauf (195) all earned crowns.  (Tyler Mitchell made it three champs for Spencerport when he won it all at 99).

Also picking up titles were the Victor duo of Kevin Marcano (120) and Kyle Collins (170), Gates Chili's Derek St. James (106), Rush Henrietta's Kevin Palmeri (126) and Canandaigua's Vincent Romeo (145). 

For full results, see here.

Meanwhile, the Center States League Tournament took place in Section 3 with Central Valley taking the top honors, led by champions Laken Cook (138), John Mazza (145) and Tim Rathbun (160).  Dandre Norman of Rome Free Academy captured the 120 pound title with his second one-point victory over an All-State wrestler of the campaign.  This time, it was Adirondack's Ryan O'Rourke (fourth at 106 in Albany in 2013).  Earlier in the season, Norman edged 2013 state champion Derek Spann.

Speaking of Spann, he won the 113 pound title. New Hartford featured a trio of champions - Ian McKenna (99), Kelan McKenna (106) and Dempsey King (132). Meanwhile, both Dolgeville (Triston Engle (170) and Kasey Foster (182)) and Holland Patent (Hunter Richard (126) and Alex Herringshaw (152)) had a pair of titlewinners. The final three weights were captured by Lane Frost (VVS, 195), Tyler Hudson (Whitesboro, 220) and Jacob Morris (Canastota, 285).

For full results, see here.


5. Before the Weekend Even Began . . .

We typically focus mostly on the Friday through Sunday action, but there were several events that happened last week that we wanted to mention.

In a dual meet between two teams full of state level wrestlers, St. Anthony's topped Locust Valley, 42-36. The CHSAA school came out on top in two of the feature matches, with Joe Russ defeating two-time NYS runner up Nick Casella 4-1 at 132 and John Twomey pinning Hunter Dusold at 120.  All four of those wrestlers are expected to return to Albany this year, where all got their hand raised in 2013.

The Section 1 large school dual meet tournament final four was postponed, however the Division II event went on with Nanuet capturing the title for the third time in a row.  The Golden Knights beat Edgemont, 49-24, on the strength of eight bonus point victories (two were forfeits).  Akif Ahmad (99), Joe Dillon (126) and Frank Paratore (160) recorded pins, Connor Breit picked up a technical fall at 182 and Chris Lowery (138) and Alex Slaybaugh (170) earned majors.  It was a dual full of big wins, as Kyle Aslanian (113), Will Graybeal (152) and Chris Kim (195) all had falls for Edgemont.

And last Wednesday, four strong Suffolk County teams took the mat at the Sachem Takes Down Cancer event.  In addition to raising money for a good cause, the night featured some stellar wrestling, with both Sachem teams coming out on top. 

Sachem East rolled past Patchogue-Medford, 43-16.  Picking up another solid win was Mark Tracy, who defeated Pat-Med's Jake Horton 8-5 at 182.  He also defeated Shoreham Wading River's Dom Pirraglia earlier in the campaign. Tracy continues to impress, along with teammates such as Jakob Restrepo and Michael Pistone.

Sachem North edged Brentwood 34-33, winning eight of the bouts.  Pins by Sean O'Hagan (132), Bobby Turner (160) and Kenneth Oberlis (182) provided crucial points for the squad.


Thank you to the many people who reported results to us over the weekend.  Special thanks to Mike Carey for his on-the scene-observations and input.

Those were some of the things that caught our attention. As usual, feel free to send in additional results, big wins, etc. to

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